Havana celebrates its 498 anniversary as a flourished destination
Every 16th November, Havana gets ready for a unique ritual, “la vuelta a la ceiba” (spinning of the silk-cotton tree). Locals and foreign visitors enjoy circling the tree planted where in 1519 the capital of Cuba was christened “San Cristóbal de la Habana” by Spanish settlers.
Declared World Heritage Site since 1982 by UNESCO, Havana has become one of the major holiday destinations in Cuba. Although in 498 years it has stretched eastwards, westwards and southwards, the “Plaza de Armas”, the square in which the Spanish platoons were lined during colonial occupation keeps marking the site where the city was founded and the centre of the heritage village.
From this spot the city flourished becoming what it is today, a mix of fine architecture and living tradition. Not many culture enthusiasts interested in the history of the new world miss the chance of visiting the historical centre of Havana.
For lovers of the past, the most exciting Cuba travel experience will reveal as they wander around bustling Plazas, cobbled-stone streets and alleys, churches, museums and art galleries.
Named after Christopher Columbus this city is linked like no other in the region to the history of continental America from Mexico to the United States. It was found to be a fine base for the Spanish colonisation of the Bahamas, Florida and Mexico as well as Honduras on the main land and during the colony it was the centre of commerce between Europe and America.
In 2017 Havana shows a consolidated tourism destination as a result of a government strategy aiming to foster tourism as the main source of funding for programmes involving building restoration and social projects to improve local people’s lives.
In its 498th anniversary, the silk-cotton tree ceremony will mark the beginning of a week of activities organized by the Office of the Historian of Havana including, academic talks, street parties, escorted tours and special programmes for children.